Over the years, many things in our lives have changed and have also been improved by digitalization, including the way we communicate. As a result, we’ve become increasingly dependent on technology when it comes to written communication, as we tend to use keyboard and digital platforms to communicate these days. Even though we may communicate via technology more frequently, the importance of handwriting remains.
As parents, it’s important to encourage our kids to continue building their handwriting skills and not turn their backs on good old pen and paper. For one, practicing handwriting helps children build their fine motor skills. As kids learn to write letters and words that string together sentences and paragraphs, they also learn to read. When children hone their handwriting skills, it can help to improve their visual-motor skills as well.
It isn’t always easy when young kids start their handwriting journey, but there are things that parents like you can do to help boost your child’s skills. Here are some tips you might find handy.
Let your child start with scribbles
Before your little one even learns how to form letters, an excellent way to introduce him or her into the world of handwriting is to begin with scribbles. Simply give your child a pencil (or any other writing utensil) and paper. Let little ones create simple drawings, shapes, of irregular forms. It doesn’t matter whether or not their drawings make sense. The goal here is for your child’s brain and muscles to begin working together as they start to build the foundation for legible writing.
Make practicing fun and exciting
Practicing handwriting skills may not seem as exciting for some kids as it is for others. But who says it has to be boring? By using colorful and fun materials, your child will be more inclined to sit down and start scribbling.
Instead of a pencil, try giving your little one different colored pens or crayons? And rather than simply focusing on practicing letters and words, inject a little fun by using simple word games as a way to give their writing practice more purpose.
Another trick you can try to help build your child’s handwriting skills is to let them practice tracing before writing letters on their own. There are several tracing workbooks designed for young kids who are learning to write letters. You can purchase these activity books, or better yet, use other materials to make it more fun.
If you have a chalkboard at home, you can have your child multicolored chalk to further engage him or her in the activity. Or consider using a sandbox and let little ones trace shapes and letters in the sand! After all, learning is best when children can have fun at the same time!
Encourage your child to draw specific shapes and forms
One of the challenges that young children face when learning to write is controlling their hands and fingers. Holding the pencil correctly isn’t something that comes naturally to anyone at first. It’s something that requires practice. Because we want our kids to spend more time practicing manipulating objects with their hands, encourage your child to practice drawing lines and shapes before even beginning to form letters. Simple shapes such as circles, triangles or squares will do. After all, most letters are just a combination of lines and shapes so this is a perfect place to start.
Give them the right tools
It may not be enough for your child to use a standard pencil. It’s important to find out what your child is comfortable using. If young children are having a hard time with a regular pencil, it can help to give them something smaller or easier for their hands to hold.
Monitor screen time
Kids often love using electronics and screens. Whether they’re watching their favorite shows or playing games on their mobile devices, they may spend hours engrossed in their electronics without getting bored. In addition to the fact that too much screen time can be detrimental to your child’s wellbeing, it also takes away from the time that could be spent learning. Be sure to monitor your child’s screen time and maintain a healthy balance between the use of media and practicing handwriting skills.
Handwriting skills remain a critical part of a child’s success in all areas of academic development. Use these tips to help your child improve his or her handwriting skills!
For more parenting tips and resources, please visit Children Central.